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Phil Kane

phil kane

tokyo san

You know those archaeology and history programmes that extol the virtue of ancient art, the ones where very knowledgeable people who should know better dig holes in the ground looking for ancient historical artefacts with exclamations such as beautiful, fascinating and fantastic being bandied about when they find stuff? Of course you do.

The art world has a similar sort of thing going on too. While they have an epiphany over a Roman cloak pin, the rest of us scratch our heads and wonder what all the fuss is about. Well, Tokyo's third album, 'San', is the rock equivalent of that.

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Originally released in 1983, 'San' is a very well produced album of driven songs and crack shot musicianship that is very much of the Toto/'Freedom At Point Zero' era Starship school of AOR.

The keyboards have the sort of toot that would become de rigueur for Phil Collins when he was in a happy mood and the guitars just manage to ensure the music stays on the righteous side of the maudlin. The album is happy life affirming rock that is so enthusiastically nice that if you were married to it you would have throttled it within a week of leaving the altar.

Tracks like 'Invisible', 'Too High', 'You're A Liar' and 'Jealousy' shimmer with so much good nature that 'San' could feasibly have graced your neighbour's stereo. With Tokyo being made up of session men, the album is suitably very smooth and polished with just enough grunt to make the ears of the most hardened AORster prick up.

Now that Yesterrock have done their usual bang up job, 'San' sparkles like a clear winter's night sky during a power cut. The problem is that despite the re-mastering the overall sound has not aged well at all. It is rock from an era when jackets were worn with the sleeves pulled up and the ladies wore big hairdos and even bigger shoulder pads. It's the sound of the wine bar lounge where your Duran Duran fan could be found sipping his funny coloured concoction thinking he has really rocked out because he listened to this as he tarted himself up for his night out.

The fact that 'San' sounds very much of its time might be too much to bear and ultimately prove to be its Achilles heel. The album has many charms but as to whether they adequately compensate for the dated sound only you can say.

To some 'San' will be a lost classic but most will regard it as a curio with an intrinsic value that is far outweighed by the effort it took to find and resurrect it; just like that Roman cloak pin.

Tokyo's first two albums are reputedly gutsier propositions but tread cautiously with this one.




Wacken Winter Nights 2018 takes place between February 23rd and 25th 2018 and the great news is that you can now experience a full-on, top class German Metal Festival easily and affordably.

It only takes an hour to fly to Hamburg from London and we've had longer journeys than that within the capital and they were certainly more expensive than the £33 air ticket that just appeared in our 'flights to Wacken Winter Nights' search.


Wacken Winter Nights is organised by the same team who are responsible for the world's greatest Metal festival, Wacken-Open-Air and the 2018 bill includes Skyclad, Orphaned Land, Elvenking, Finntroll, Grave Digger, Aeverium, Comes Vagantes, Coppelius, Corvus Corax, Die Pressgëng, Elvellon, Heimataerde, Hell-O-Matic, Ignis Fatuu, Ingrimm, Irdorath, Johnny Deathshadow, Krayenzeit, Letzte Instanz, Mr Hurley und die Pulveraffen, Pampatut, Pat Razket, Schandmaul, Sündenrausch, The Aberlour's, The Moon And The Nightspirit, Torfrock, Visions Of Atlantis, Vroudenspil, Wind Rose and more.

Besides this rich billing of superb Metal bands, there is so much more to see in the festival area including the medieval market and also the walking acts and jugglers you will meet at the theme worlds, including Robert Blake, three-time World Cup winner of street magic.

Wacken Winter Nights is something not to be missed and you can check out the amazing ticket and accommodation prices right here.

We just priced up the whole four day trip with hotels, flights, shuttles and festival tickets for less than £300 and we don't think you will get a better value festival than that, anywhere.


MetalTalk recently sat down with Wacken founder and owner Thomas Jensen and that interview will be online next week and it's a fascinating insight into how Wacken originated from nothing to become the world's premiere Heavy Metal event.


Wacken 2018 takes place from 2nd to 4th August 20218 and as with Wacken Winter Nights, if you have never experienced all it has to offer, then you owe it to yourself to remedy that.

Already announced for Wacken 2018 are Judas Priest, Nightwish, Running Wild (exclusive), Arch Enemy, Dirkschneider, Doro (Special Anniversary Show), In Extremo, Sepultura, Amorphis, Amaranthe, Firewind, W.A.R., Belphegor, Mantar, Knorkator, Deserted Fear, Watain, Night Demon, Epica, Knorkator, Belphegor, Firewind, Deserted Fear and many more and we'll have more Wacken 2018 announcements during December.

As well as being the greatest Heavy Metal festival in the world, it is without a doubt the Mecca of Metal and the one thing that every single person who loves our music should have on their bucket list.

For 2018, MetalTalk have joined forces with Wacken-Open-Air to help you get to Wacken easily and inexpensively and you can peruse the ticket and travel options right here.

If you are interested in going to Wacken 2018 and have questions, please fill out the form below and we will contact you with answers to all your enquiries. You are under no obligation whatsoever by filling this form out. We won't add you to any mailing lists or send you loads of spam - all we will do is help you get to Wacken as easily and inexpensively as possible.



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